Deadly Superbug Creates a Global Health Threat

Currently, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is considering a deadly superbug “a serious global health threat.” However, cases of this disease have been escalating in the U.S. and abroad recently. There are currently 617 confirmed cases domestically.

The superbug is Candida auris – or C. auris – which is a fungus that primarily preys on patients in nursing homes or hospitals, causing potentially deadly infections.

What is Candida auris?

Circulating in healthcare settings, it’s a fungus that causes aggressive infections. Candida auris began occurring in the U.S. in the middle of 2015 after the first identification in Japan in 2009.

The CDC worries about C. auris Due to its difficult diagnosis. Additionally, immediate action is necessary to prevent it from spreading, and it has proven resistant to at least one anti-fungal drug.

Who does it affect?

Candida auris typically affects patients who already have a severe medical condition or a compromised immune system. Usually, healthy individuals aren’t at risk of infection. Nevertheless, they should wash their hands with soap and water if they come in contact with a patient who has the disease.

According to the CDC, 30-60% of the people who have contracted C. auris infections have died. However, many of them were already at risk due to existing severe illnesses.

What are the symptoms?

Currently, symptoms are chills and fevers, unresponsive to antibiotics.

What is the treatment?

The majority of C. auris infections respond to treatment with echinocandins, a class of antifungal medication. Be that as it may, patients may need to consult an expert if the medication is ineffective.

The CDC recommends placing patients with Candida auris in a single room that may require frequent cleaning with a high-grade disinfectant.